October 13, 2014

Well today was interesting. Columbus day. I started the day reading the kids and article about Seattle banning the celebration of Columbus to honor Indigenous people. Yes, they have dumped Columbus Day to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead. They are amongst several cities around the USA, and the entire state of South Dakota has never honored the day denoted as Columbus Day. The kids were quite fascinated by this article, and the accusations thrown out about the man they learned as Christopher Columbus. So we dug deeper. We read kids books, Superstars of History: The Good, The Bad, and The Brainy, we looked online for more articles, and we discussed. Matthew and Arianna were appalled by what they found. He, for one, is not an American, and never found anything that wasn’t already inhibited. He harmed, well gruesomely tortured and killed Haiti’s humanity. We talked about what his contribution to the world as an explorer really was. We compared him to other explorers. The question that they asked, “Why does the school lie to us about Columbus, and sing a happy song, when he was really awful?’ I listened to them speak profound realizations that not everything we learn is accurate. The deep critical thinking needed to explore deeper into everything was ignited today at my breakfast table. I allowed them to read, and hear the material as presented from all sides. I also allowed them to choose what they were going to do with the new found knowledge. I gave them the power to ditch ideas just because they have been around for awhile. They declared they don’t believe he should be recognized as anything, and went and grabbed books off the the shelf. When I asked them what they were doing they both Arianna replied, “We are not celebrating him, Mom, we are doing school today.”